MGM Proposes Casino in Bridgeport

From Coalition Director Michele Mudrick:

As reported in the press this week, MGM is proposing to build a $675 million casino in Bridgeport in an effort to tap the Fairfield County and metropolitan New York markets. The MGM plan would need legislative approval, which MGM has said it might seek during the current legislative special session.

MGM has fought in court to stop the state’s move to permit Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to jointly open a commercial casino in East Windsor, and MGM’s spokesman said this week that MGM will continue its legal battle. MGM’s Bridgeport proposal represents an escalation in MGM’s effort to stop the East Windsor casino by demonstrating its willingness to invest in Bridgeport as a preferred way to expand casino gambling in Connecticut.

Governor Malloy, who supports the $300 million East Windsor casino, has expressed initial opposition to the Bridgeport casino, arguing that it would jeopardize the annual $200 million-plus the state now gets from Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun under the State-Tribal compact, and many legislative supporters of the East Windsor casino have come out against the Bridgeport proposal. At the same time, however, a number of Bridgeport and New Haven officials have come out in strong support of the Bridgeport proposal, and at least one newspaper columnist and one Bridgeport legislator have raised the possibility of a political deal that would allow both the Bridgeport and East Windsor casinos to be built without jeopardizing Foxwoods’ and Mohegan Sun’s slot sharing payments to the state.

The Coalition Against Casino Expansion in Connecticut vigorously opposed approval of the East Windsor casino, which still does not have federal Indian of Bureau Affairs Approval, and will continue to do so on the basis that its social and economic costs would heavily outweigh its benefits. The Coalition also strongly opposes the proposal for a Bridgeport casino, which would dramatically expand casino gambling in Connecticut, with even higher long-term social and economic costs to the state.